Taipei-Shanghai Twin-City Forum opens in Taipei

Taipei Deputy Mayor Teng Chia-chi (front) and Shan...

Taipei Deputy Mayor Teng Chia-chi (front) and Shan... (CNA photo)

The Taipei-Shanghai Twin-City Forum opened Thursday, with both sides stressing the need to boost mutual understanding and build peace across the Taiwan Strait.

"We hope to accomplish sustainable progress through positive competition based on mutual understanding, respect and cooperation, despite the differences caused by long-term separation," Taipei Deputy Mayor Teng Chia-chi (鄧家基) said at the opening of the forum.

The main significance of this year's forum is that a consensus has been forged across party lines in Taiwan that the two cities should engage in positive exchanges across the board to build a beautiful and harmonious future for the next generation on both sides, he said.

According to Teng, Taiwan is the first society to have achieved democratization based on Chinese culture, while modern mainland China is a strong power that exercises great influence in the world.

"These achievements and contributions are admirable and both cities should cherish them to allow the mainland to continue pursuing peace across the strait while permitting Taiwan to build an even more mature democratic society," he said.

"Amid the Taipei-Shanghai exchanges, we are aware that there are some points upon which mainland China insists, while the mainland should also realize Taiwan's efforts in pursuing democracy and freedom," he added.

For his part, Shanghai Executive Vice Mayor Zhou Bo (周波) called the forum a major institutional platform for exchanges between the two cities.

"Relations between Taipei and Shanghai are collaborative and competitive in nature, and are important for the two cities to make progress and boost their energy," Zhou said.

As the key city in the Yangtze River Delta, Shanghai is capable of providing many development opportunities for Taiwan's people, allowing the city to play a bigger role in bilateral exchanges while bringing the two cities together to jointly build peace, he said.

Leading a 135-member delegation, Zhou arrived in Taipei Wednesday to attend the forum, which is held alternately between the two cities every year.

(By Miao Chung-han and Flor Wang)